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Page 55 stories Neymar could lose Brazil captaincy ?Barcelona’s Brazilian star Neymar could see his place in his national team setup downgraded, with reports in…

Page 55 stories

Neymar could lose Brazil captaincy

?Barcelona’s Brazilian star Neymar could see his place in his national team setup downgraded, with reports in his home country claiming that the 24-year-old could be stripped of the captaincy after a series of poor decisions.

?Barcelona’s Brazilian star Neymar could see his place in his national team setup downgraded, with reports in his home country claiming that the 24-year-old could be stripped of the captaincy after a series of poor decisions.

The Brazilian Football Confederation are said to have been irritated by his booking against Uruguay recently, which saw him suspended for the next World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay – which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Reports from O Globo say that the booking was just the latest in a string of ‘offences’ by the Barcelona star, with the CBF also unhappy that he chose to leave the squad and return to his club early after his suspension was confirmed.

A lack of discipline also saw Neymar sent off and banned for four games during the summer’s Copa America tournament after he kicked a ball at a Colombian player in frustration following the final whistle, before appearing to headbutt another and reportedly showering the referee with abuse.

He also left the squad after his suspension was confirmed on that occasion, leaving the team he had been charged with leading as they crashed out on penalties to Paraguay at the quarter-final stage.

Domestically, Neymar has been the subject of a number of transfer rumours of late. Paris Saint-Germain and a number of Premier League clubs hold a reported interest in bringing the Ballon d’Or shortlisted forward to their respective teams, but Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu put an end to the speculation recently, saying: “If someone wants to negotiate with Neymar, we will not give them permission. Neymar will stay at Barcelona.”

WADA gives Kenya another month’s grace

Kenya has been handed a one-month extension to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and thereby avoid future sanctions, an official told Reuters yesterday.

“We have been given a one-month extension by WADA…we are proceeding to Mombasa to consult with the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Sports so that when the (new anti-doping) bill comes for a second reading … we will be on the same page,” said an Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) source.

The bill is a key requirement for the east African nation, famed for its distance runners but tarnished by around 40 doping cases in recent years, to be declared compliant with the WADA code ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

“We have no doubt things will be fine,” added the highly-placed source who declined to be identified.

Kenya was given a deadline to enact the law or be declared non-compliant, which brings WADA sanctions, but parliament went into recess earlier this month and the bill could not become law before time ran out on April 5.

The governing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said last month it was highly unlikely Kenya would be suspended from the Olympics.

WADA is due to issue its decision on Kenya’s case at a board meeting on May 12.

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday that the bill could not be fast-tracked to beat the deadline but he was certain his nation’s athletes would be participating at the Olympics.

“The country is committed and what we are telling them (WADA) is … let our processes go through,” Kenyatta told France 24 in an interview.

“I’m confident Kenya will participate at the Olympics and win more gold … the problem would have been if there was lack of commitment in terms on enacting. That commitment is there at the National Assembly.”

WADA spokesman Ben Nichols told the BBC on Tuesday that his agency was happy with the first steps Kenya had taken towards meeting compliance.

The country’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario told the BBC that the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Sports would be meeting in Mombasa today to pour over the bill before it went for its second and third readings.

Hungarian swimmers back coach despite rape case

The Hungarian Swimming Association said it stood by national swimming team coach Laszlo Kiss, 75, who has come under fire for his part in the 1961 gang-rape of a young swimmer, a crime he admitted to and went to prison for at the time.

The Communist-era case was picked up again this week in an article on crime news web site privatkopo.hu., leading to a public outcry and calls for Kiss to resign.

But Kiss, who was convicted in 1962 together with two other swimmers and served 20 months of a three-year sentence, said he would stay on as coach as Hungary’s swimming team prepares for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Hungarian Swimming Association and Committee of Coaches both voiced support for him on Wednesday.

“Everyone must be given a chance to clear his name through performance, resilience,” the Committee of Coaches said in a statement. “Coach (Kiss) managed to do that in our eyes.”

Once out of jail, Kiss returned to swim and later became a successful coach, guiding such stars as five-time Olympic gold medalist Krisztina Egerszegi.

Kiss has not answered Reuters phone calls. He told the web site nol.hu this week that he owed no explanations this long after the crime.

He said that he never denied what he had done and was never able to put it behind him but that in the swimming world, where people knew about his history, people forgave him and accepted him again.

“Because neither the courts nor other authorities barred me from coaching kids, I got a new chance and I used it,” Kiss said. “Anyone can see Hungary’s swimming results in recent decades and decide whether I proved myself or not.”

“Because of the approaching European Championships and the Rio Olympics, I cannot just resign right away if the swimmers need me,” he added.

Hungarian swimming has seen its share of sex scandals. In a 2013 book, the former swimmer Nikolett Szepesi accused unnamed massage therapists of sexual assault. Several former swimmers corroborated her claim.

In 2014, the United Nations children’s rights organisation UNICEF published a report on youth sports in Hungary and said 31 percent of respondents had been subject to sexual assault.

Wenger plays down Wilshere incident

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Thursday played down a late-night scrape involving Jack Wilshere and revealed that the midfielder will make his long-awaited return to action this week.

Wilshere, 24, was photographed speaking to police in the early hours of Sunday morning after reportedly being rejected from a nightclub in central London.

The England midfielder will play in the club’s under-21 fixture against Newcastle United on Friday and Wenger feels that the nightclub incident did not merit the media attention it received.

“I’ve spoken to him. It looks to be taken out of proportion a little bit,” Wenger told a press conference ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with West Ham United on Saturday.

“These are matters that we like to keep internal. This is a completely private matter. I don’t know really what happened.”

He added: “There was no training session the next day. He had an off day (day off). You can accept that sometimes the players go out, when they are free the next day, over the weekend.

“Overall, what is positive is that he works very, very hard. The news looks quite good. I think he will have a good test tomorrow night.”

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